What is USB Type-C and why is it awesome?

There has been lots of talk lately about USB-C or USB Type-C, but what exactly is it, and why is it better than the other formats more commonly in use today, such as micro USB, that it hopes to replace?

USB-C is the newest iteration of USB technology, set to become commonplace as early as 2015. USB-C can be used for many different purposes, from charging mobile phones and transferring data, to transmitting video files onto TV screens. Because the format is so versatile, USB-C cables are expected to replace many of the cables that are widely used today, such as HDMI, VGA, Display, USB, micro USB, and power cables. In fact, the super multifaceted functionality of USB-C has led to the decision by Apple to equip its latest MacBook with only two ports: a headphone jack for music, and a USB-C port for everything else.

There are many benefits to USB-C. To start with, it is reversible, meaning that, like Apple’s Lightning cables, no matter which way you plug in a USB-C cable it will work, which makes plugging in a phone to charge slightly more convenient. USB-C also has higher data transfer rates, which makes syncing faster, and it can charge phones more quickly than micro USB can, so that your phone with USB-C will not need to spend as much time connected to a wire as a phone with micro USB does to achieve the same results. It is also possible to transmit audio via USB-C, so it is likely that one day headphones will be plugged into a USB-C port rather than a standard headphone jack. This means, you can expect that USB-C will one day make headphone jacks redundant, and not something that phones in the future will be equipped with, meaning that USB-C will ultimately lead to smaller mobile phones, that connect exclusively through a USB-C port. The role USB-C plays in making devices smaller can already be seen in Apple’s latest laptop. The new MacBook is thinner than both the MacBook Pro, and the MacBook Air, because its USB-C port enables it to rid itself of the other ports that make the other Apple laptops more bulky. It would also be well to consider that, rather than having several different cables each serving a different purpose, USB-C will be a cheaper way of connecting devices, as users will require only one cable that will work with most devices, and be suitable for most purposes.

While USB-C hasn’t become too mainstream as of yet, many people have taken note of its release, and its potential, and the multi purpose possibilities make it something that will almost certainly become more popular than any other cable we use right now, partly because of the convenience of only needing one type of cable for everything, but also because of the money that can be saved by taking such an approach. USB-C will be especially appreciated as an upgrade over the current micro USB cable that used to charge and sync mobile phones, partly because it is more efficient, but also because it is reversible, and will work no matter which way it is inserted.


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13 Responses

  1. Vari says:

    I’ve never heard of USB-C before. I think that I can already hardly tell the difference between USB 3.0 and USB 2.0. I wonder if USB-C will really be that big of a difference for someone like me.

  2. Jasmine2015 says:

    I think the USB-C is something I will look forward to having. I have a bulky multipurpose printer at home. The only way to use it without Wi-Fi is with a cord connecting the laptop to the printer. Do you know how much space we could save if it used a USB-C?

    We are also used to phone companies creating slimmer phones so I hope this cord makes other bulky phones thinner as well. Then we have some game consoles also having a slimmer version of themselves such as Playstation. Imagine what this cord would mean for developers when creating another console?

  3. Define says:

    No more finding a cable that works in my bucket of wires? Hell yeah, the future’s here! Now the only problem would be for everything to have USB-C ports. Sigh, I guess the bucket is always needed.

  4. madbunnyXD says:

    I also didn’t know about this. But it does sound convenient and I wouldn’t be surprised to see most of us use it in the future. The conveniences from its usage doesn’t sound revolutionary, but it sounds significant enough for popular use.

  5. FDn says:

    Nice, thanks fror sharing

  6. mahi says:

    Really many many thanks.This information can help everyone!!

  7. Diane Lane says:

    I hadn’t heard of usb-c before reading this. It certainly does sound as if it’s the way of the future. I like the idea of only needing one cord if we need any cord/cable at all, but what happens with older technology, such as televisions without usb-c connections? I guess there will be adapters sold to accommodate those situations?

  8. nytegeek says:

    Not having to worry about the direction to plug it in is a major plus for the standard of it’s own. There will probably be adapters on the market after a while for the base of installed USB utilizing the old plugs and connections. I think Apple’s decision to move to USB-C was fine, but they would have served the public better by including two USB-C ports.

  9. Jose Moreno says:

    The first time I heard about the USB-C port was when the OnePlus announced it to be included with their new smartphone. Like most people, I didn’t know what was that, and after a small research, it blew my mind. The flexibility of having everythinng in 1 single port is a big step in the standarized world. And being USB (not serial, lighting, firewire) makes it easier to get universally used. And the reversible function pretty much makes it the best thing to advertise.

  10. AshwinMahesh says:

    This is the first time I am hearing about USB-C and it sounds interesting, I also see the overwhelming need for such a cable. But credit where credits due, all the latest Android based phones use micro USB as a standard, at least I haven’t come across any new ones which doesn’t work on micro USB. If indeed there are any feel free to post it as a reply to my comment.

    Apple is at fault here because they’ve always done things their own way with the lightning cable and now if they adopt USB-C along with the rest of the smartphone makers it will be huge for the market. What this could also mean is that Apple has realised they’re losing market share to Android and they want to claw it back.

  11. Elfprincess says:

    I also never heard about USB-C before and I really appreciate your post. You’ve managed to explain in clear and concise way why it’s awesome. As someone who constantly breaks headphone cables, I’m looking forward to USB-C headphones – since they will be so common, it will be much easier to replace them. If my headphones break on the way to work, I’ll just pull another USB-C cable from my charger and voila!
    The fact that you’ll be able to use USB-C for EVERYTHING is amazing. No more being stopped by lack of necessary cable! Future seems amazing.

  12. FFExplorer says:

    I think it’s probably going to be another 3 years or so until USB-C really makes our lives easier. I can’t wait to be able to just use a single cable for everything.

    I still don’t have a single device with USB C, what about you guys? Anyone with any first hand experience of the benefits?

  13. Wheezybz says:

    The idea of an all-in-one cable is great but I hope that they equip future phones with two usb-c ports. Otherwise you eon’t be able to charge your phone and use your headphones at the same time.

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